Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Plate to the Circuit: Chitlin That Is!

I love me some chitlins! Throw some Maws in the pot too Um mm,Um mm Good!
Traditionally in my house when I was growing up, come New Years we always had a pot of Chitterlings. However, Lol we use the term just like everyone else in african american terminology "Chitlins".

When slaves were bought here from Africa they were given the least choice or the scraps of food to eat. Chitlin's was one of those choices in order to survive. I can imagine one of my ancestors threw in a little bit of this and a little bit of that to make them taste good. Ingredients like pepper, onions and spices.

Sprinkle some Louisiana hot sauce over them and I can go to town. As for sides, collard greens and potato salad will do. Now for bread, it can either be cornbread or hot-water cornbread. Then to wash it all down I prefer a cold glass of lemon aid or sweet tea.

If I were say in my twenties back in the early 1900's I may would have visited what blacks called the "Chitlin Circuit".
It was a huge list of clubs where black singers,bands and comedians performed during and after segregation. Good music, soul food such as chitlins and a place to see their favorites perform.

Artists like BB King, Ray Charles, Etta James, Lena Horne and so many others went that route. They came from Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama all wanting to play the blues and to be heard.

Comedians like Redd Foxx and Moms Mabley also worked the "Chitlin Circuits". Other artists like Ike and Tina,and Al Green worked those small country circuits too.
They sure made a name for themselves once they got the chance to cross-over.

Bo Diddly sang and played the guitar like no body's business

Another Guitar Player was Chuck Berry. He played small nightclubs with bands and singers like Muddy Waters.

He could sure play a mean guitar, sing and do that soulful strut across the stage. However this next man is my Navasota "Spotlight Man"

I have never heard or seen him play but I know he's a Texas Man and have read that he was one of the best, and has some of the best blues reviews from those in the music industry.

Many a small home town club or country porches deep in the heart Texas saw the likes of Bowdie Glenn"Mance" Lipscomb!

Lipscomb was born April 9,1895. My oldest living cousin Thelma on my fathers side stated that they were all good friends of the Lipscombs, especially the younger ones. They went to school together,chopped cotton together and played together.

In 1870 Mance's father Charles were found in Anderson in Grimes County as an eleven year old living with his parents George and Betsy. George was an Alabama slave that was sold to the Lipscombs in Texas. (click to enlarge)

Lipscomb spent most of his life working as a farmer in and around Grimes and Brazos County Texas. In fact Mance was known locally for his music talents playing his guitar early on in life. Mance's father Charles was also know as an excellent fiddler and he and Mance would play together.

Nationally he was a late bloomer as far as being discovered for his talents and making recordings.
Mance taught himself how to play the guitar and had a style all his own to compliment the way he sang the blues. He played in small venues all around Houston when he lived and worked there. He played with other greats such as Lightning Hopkins and Blind Willie Jefferson before moving back to Navasota.

It has been said that Mance had a friend by the name of Emancipation and when he passed away he chose to name himself Mance after him. I often wonder if he legally changed his name.

In this 1900 Brazos County Texas census Body is age 4 living with his parents Charles and Jane Pratt Lipscomb along with brother Charley and sisters Alice and Annie. (click to enlarge)

Mance passed away in 1976 leaving his wife of 69 years Eleanor Crimm Lipscomb. He is buried in Navasota Texas, the place where my paternal folks are from.

In Navasota Texas they have a yearly Blues Fest that is named in Mance Lipscombs honor. In fact the Texas State Legislature named Navasota as the official blues capitol of Texas. If you are in the mood for some good blues and you are in Grimes County in August, head over to Navasota.


Anonymous said...

You Should be a Black History Teacher Love it! see i Read It Yo' Brother!

Renate said...

Nice post! Now, I want me some chitlins'!


Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

Vicky... I have chosen your blog to receive the Ancestor Approved award. Please visit my secondary blog, Genealojournal.blogspot.com, to pick it up. :-D Lisa

Ms Vicky said...

Thank you so much Lisa, I am honored...

Terrence said...

Hey Vicky,

Mance's daughter Ruby attends my church here in Houston, Texas.